Children of the Sun (WiP; demo available)


#1

God, how long have I been sitting on this? Title is a total placeholder, by the by; I will probably change it at some point because as-is it’s aggressively generic.

Anyway, this is a story I’ve been toying with for a while; you play as a novice guard of a merchant caravan on a diplomatic mission; the setting has just been through major upheaval, so it’s a particularly delicate thing to establish this stuff. The plan is to have a set of names to chose from to avoid what I like to call “dongs syndrome”, in addition to choosing your gender and religious faction.

As far as plot goes, in addition to the overarching “don’t screw up so badly it ruins the mission”, there are smaller things to investigate that affect your standing with the town (recent spate of deaths in certain shrines, sharp uptick in undead appearances causing strife between religious sects, the strange circumstances of the deaths of a lot of the town’s leadership, things along those lines), as well as the opportunity to build bonds with some of the locals. Your player character is pretty young, so while that lets them get away with a bit more shenanigans, you’re also limited in what you can do.

Also, you are a member of a species of giant carnivorous hexapodal therapods, may have forgotten to mention that. All of the characters are, really. Giant fluffbirds only in these parts.

I have most of the major plot points sketched out, but actually writing it out has been agonizingly slow, and the prospect of coding it makes me die a bit inside. Turns out the same disability that keeps me out of the work force hinders my ability to retain programming information, who would have thought! Maybe NaNo will get me to finish this monstrosity hahaha who am i kidding.

…This would be more coherent if I had a better idea of what to put in an OP.

e: Here’s the link to the current demo:
https://dashingdon.com/play/rudje/children-of-the-sun-wip/mygame/

Currently only one path of the first day is done.


#2

Fantastic, where do I sign up?

Seriously, this sounds really good and interesting, I’m eagerly waiting for updates. :smiley:


#3

Sounds interesting can’t wait


#5

Can I ask why the part about being a sapient sauroid is the part that disinterests you? Because the species is dinosaur-shaped, not actual theropods; there is no connection with our earth. I can’t even use the names we use to refer to, like, ceratopsians because the words just don’t exist in this setting. can’t even use trihorn as a general descriptor because as far as i know most species don’t have three horns, just frills and beaks and maybe one or two horns!!!

I mean, I’m not going to change it regardless of your answer; too much of the culture, behavior, and setting is bound up in their being large social obligate carnivores to change it, and I personally find xenofic more interesting to write in any case. But I’d like to hear your reasoning for it.


#6

This sounds like a really unique idea! I’m interested in learning about the different religious factions and the possible affect choosing one has on the player character and the story, especially. And I’m always a sucker for political intrigue and murder mysteries.
… Also, being a big ol’ dinosaur bird in a world of big ol’ dinosaur birds. That is also a factor in my interest.
Anyway, I will definitely be following your progress! ^J^


#7

Eh, just not sure how Character interaction would go, but I guess I’ll just wait and see.


#8

The different sects have different plots associated with them, and it’s waaaaay easier to qualify for a sect’s plotline if you’re that sect, but you’re not locked out entirely if you aren’t that sect. Just a matter of difficulty in getting access. The religious factions are pretty peaceful with each other; more like Orlanthi cults than Christian sects. Not that there isn’t conflict… it’s just not generally religion-driven.

Also, I’m getting close to finishing the beta version of the first day (out of… four to seven, maybe?); it’s the slowest/least eventful day, but each path should give you a decent idea of what personalities you need to deal with for the rest of them. I’ll upload that version for you guys to play with when I’m done.


#9

Brain’s been melting from stress so only one path for the first day is finished (going to Turiya), but here’s what I have so far:
https://dashingdon.com/play/rudje/children-of-the-sun-wip/mygame/

I’ll update it as I get things more finished. Sorry that it’s taking so long; I really thought I would have been done with at least another path by now.

As a note, tell me if things are understandable without the glossary; i don’t want it to be required reading, just clarification and additional info.


#10

not sure what it is, but I got an error when I tried to select the “Catch their attention and redirect the conversation” choice

Oh…I’ve seen it before but it there some number of days after that you’re not allowed to post? So sorry if I accidentally disregarded that rule! Not sure what the exact day count is that you’re not supposed to reply after…


#11

Generally we discourage people from bumping WIP threads where the author hasn’t posted on them in 2 weeks. It’s only been 3 weeks, this author’s been active recently on the forums, and you’re providing some useful information.


#12

Don’t worry about it; a bug report for something I thought was fixed before I uploaded things is the sort of thing I’m glad to hear about.

I’m guessing your character’s cult was Sun or Moon, right? Pretty sure I can fix this with a bit of copy-paste if that’s the case, thankfully, so it’s not as major as the time where I had to search for wrong punctuation to unbreak things.

If your character was not in those two, I think the same solution will fix it since that’s the only potential issue on that line, it’s just something i’ll need to keep in mind in the future.


#13

I’ve uploaded the fixed file; it should work fine now. Tell me if anything else breaks.


#14

Hello! I’m an aspiring choicescriptian myself so I figured I’d start out by playing some of the games with fewer replies :slight_smile: I only played through once (not counting the repeats due to a crash I’ll mention) and took notes:

  • The intro launches straight into character creation. I’m guessing that’s temporary :slight_smile:

  • I can understand a bit what the sects are about just from the name (e.g. ‘Death’ is pretty straightforward)
    but some background information before choosing wouldn’t go awry. I spotted it in the glossary later,
    but I’m the kind of player that doesn’t generally hit up that information unless he’s testing something.

  • The ‘is this information correct’ page doesn’t list my “have you encountered undead” choice.

  • “initiate of the Sun Cultist” should probably be “initiate of the Sun Cult”

  • “Ask the Arda for permission to give the “peaceful party approaching” call” choice gave an error:
    dayone line 31: Non-existent variable 'pronounobject’
    After this I got a scene with Arda Laine and Arda Elianye, but I don’t get any choices.

  • “You were an idiot and should have known better” is a great continuation :slight_smile:

  • “ask top assist in the day’s tasks” -> “ask to assist in the day’s tasks”

  • “One of the younger-looking hunters […] walked up” starts three paragraphs in the past tense,
    but it’s been present tense up until this point. The next page continues, but sitting back
    and letting the argument happen goes back to the present tense.

  • I (the player) have a choice of what shrine to go to but I (the player) have forgotten what
    cult I (the character) is in, or at least which god leads it. A refresher would be handy.

I’m really liking the way you’ve written the characters; even my own thoughts/actions are suitably alien to a human player :slight_smile:


#15

The crash is because I forgot to change the start up file when I uploaded the fixed day one; I’d forgotten that I changed some of the variable names for pronouns after uploading the public version, and right now that’s the only place it’s showed up (thank god). Thanks for telling me; that’s a hell of a mistake.

Similarly, the undead question isn’t listed because it’s not an independent variable right now, it just alters your necromancy stat. I could make it a temp variable for the purpose of character creation, though it’ll be a bit since it’s late right now… Same with the tense errors.

Honestly, this is my first ChoiceScript game, so I didn’t add an intro before character creation because I didn’t realize it would be needed. I could change that once things get more fleshed out, though; right now a lot of later details are in flux so I wouldn’t want to constantly edit that for consistency.

Part of the reason I kept it a bit terse is because I wasn’t sure how much text would be considered too much for character creation (that, and forgetting that not everyone has this nonsense basically memorized). Any tips on how to approach giving more info without overwhelming players? /tends to infodump, it’s a bad habit

Thanks for pointing out all the typos/general errors, too! I really appreciate these things being pointed out to me, since my memory is kind of bad so I don’t always remember to address/notice them. :>

I could add a line about what your cult is to the end-of-day bits, yeah; out of curiosity, going to the stats page keeps your place, right? Mostly want to make sure things aren’t breaking in weird ways.


#16

I figured the lack of text on startup was due to the WIP nature of the project, but thought I’d mention it just in case it’s a bug :slight_smile:

The undead question became clear to me later when I looked at the stat :slight_smile: Is there a benefit to having it lower? Otherwise that makes the question a bit one-sided.

I haven’t played/written that many choicescript games where you’re not human, so it’s hard to say what the best way to include that information is. The way it’s currently written feels gradual, nonhuman details creep in, but that does leave the character creation a bit bare. Still, that’s not necessarily a bad way to do it. Non-choicescript games have completely separate character creation phases all the time, after all.

As far as I can tell, the stats page is working perfectly, I never had issues coming back to the main story when I looked up stats, and I’m a compulsive stat-looker.


#17

The Necromancy stat, when high enough, is currently planned to cut off certain later choices entirely. Current plan is to have the grayed out so that you know the choice is there, just unavailable. The cutoff would probably vary between sects, but to give numbers I’d need to get more of the writing finished.

It’s not a purely bad thing to have it high, either; some choices will only become available after the cutoff point. It’s just very much meant as a double-edged stat.


#20